Factors That Affect A Child’s Growth And Development
Your child’s growth and development involve all the changes that his/her body and mind go through. As a parent, it is important that you know about the factors that determine these changes:
Your child’s physical development consists of the height, weight, development of muscles and bones. The following factors affect a child’s physical development:
Your child inherits your physical characteristics through genes. If your child is carrying a dominant gene related to height, he/she might achieve the same height as you.
However, there are some disorders and health issues that are passed on genetically such as heart diseases, diabetes, obesity etc. These problems can affect your child’s weight, muscle and bone development etc.2
Your child’s body needs the right amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins, and Minerals for his/her physical development. For example, Calcium is important for the development of bones, Vitamin E for developing the immune system, iron is important for immunity, proteins build body strength and Vitamin A is essential for vision in poor lighting. If not provided proper nutrition, your child’s growth might get stunted.
Long time exposure to pollutants like lead, manganese, mercury, arsenic and pesticides through either land, water or food has been known to deteriorate growth, cause physical abnormalities, weaken the immune system and affect motor skills in children.
Mental And Cognitive Development
The mental and cognitive development of your child consists of the development of the brain, neurological processes, intellectual abilities, learning abilities etc.5 The following factors affect a child’s mental and cognitive development:
If your child doesn’t get the right nutrition, it will adversely affect his/her mental development. For example, deficiency of Iodine, Iron, Vitamin B12 and Folic acid can cause mental retardation and in extreme cases, even neurological damage.
Nutritional drinks like Horlicks can help you bridge the gap between nutritional requirements and consumption by the child.
Lead, manganese, arsenic poisoning has been known to cause cognitive dysfunction in children especially at the age of 6 years to 12 years. Mercury poisoning can lead to impaired language skills, attention and memory.
Emotional And Social Development8
A child’s emotional development consists of understanding, expressing and managing his/her emotions, while social development includes his/her behaviour with other people. The following factors affect a child’s emotional and social development:
Parenting And Culture
Studies show that harsh parenting practices - like shouting, rough punishing, shaming - can cause the child to either become unusually indifferent or hypersensitive. On the other hand, a loving, caring, trustful relationship with your child can help him/her become an emotionally mature individual.
Cultural norms determine a child’s social interactions. For example, in many cultures aggression is more acceptable in men than in women so growing in a certain cultural setting, a boy might grow more aggressive.
While the above-mentioned factors play a crucial role in different aspects of your child’s growth and development, you play an active role in facilitating. Hence, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps for his/her all round development.